Cracked skin is a very common problem; it often occurs on the feet, especially on the heels, but it can also occur on the hands, lips, elbows, or knees and less often on other parts of the body. It is often caused by the skin becoming too dry and is especially common in the winter, when the humidity is low and when people rely on artificial heat, which has a drying effect on the skin. Cracked skin can leave you more vulnerable to infections. In mild and moderate cases, cracked skin can be prevented and treated with home remedies. You can prevent cracked skin by putting lotion on your skin after a shower or bath. On areas that are particularly prone to cracked skin, such as feet, some people use coconut oil or olive oil. You can prevent your lips from cracking by wearing lip balm or by covering your mouth with a scarf or muffler when you are outside in the cold, and you can prevent your hands from getting cracked skin by wearing gloves.
The heels are the part of the body where the skin is most likely to appear cracked. The good news is that much of what looks cracked is dead skin that can be removed easily and painlessly. First, soak your feet in warm water for about twenty minutes. Then use a pumice stone to remove the dead skin. Next, rinse your feet in the shower. After your shower, put lotion on your feet. Some people use mentholated rubs, paraffin wax, a mixture of lemon juice and glycerin, or petroleum jelly instead of lotion. Instead of soaking the feet in plain water, some people recommend adding vinegar, lemon juice, or Epsom salts.
Some sores are harmless and go away on their own, but others can be a sign of a serious problem. Canker sores in the mouth can be caused by the common cold virus or by hormonal changes, especially in women of childbearing age; these sores usually go away on their own in less than a week. Others sores on the body might be caused by bacterial infections. Staphylococcus and MRSA are bacteria known to cause skin lesions and require prompt and thorough treatment with antibiotics. Some forms of skin cancer can manifest themselves as sores. If you have a sore that does not get better on its own, please consult a doctor.
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